David James (inventor of the Packtite, Packtite Closet, Bed Bug Beacon, and Bed Bug Blue) has another new product which may improve the way many of us deal with bed bugs: the Thermaspot (TM) Temperature Sensor.
Thermaspot is a small piece of adhesive paper (which can be kept attached to its backing or attached to an object via the adhesive) which tells you if a temperature of 120F has been reached. When 120F is achieved, the Thermaspot turns black as shown below. For those of us using a Packtite to decon potentially-infested items, this will offer reassurance that the required temperatures were met throughout.
As a Packtite Closet user, I am careful to place the temperature probe in the center of the items being treated. However, sometimes this is difficult to do — the probe may not easily stay inside an item without becoming dislodged. Perhaps you also want to check temperatures inside a few different items. With Thermaspot, you can easily do this.
Inevitably someone asks, “why 120F?”
While the actual temperature needed to kill bed bugs is only 113F (45C), bed bugs can live over 90 minutes at that temperature, and eggs were found to live a full seven hours. On the other hand, a temperature of 120F reached throughout the item(s) being treated will kill bed bugs instantly, though eggs will take more time. David James recommends running the Packtite for an hour after the temperature probe placed in the center of the item(s) reaches 120F.
For more on killing bed bugs with heat, see Dini Miller’s very helpful overview Using heat to kill bed bugs (PDF) and an article by Stephen A. Kells and Michael J. Goblirsch entitled “Temperature and Time Requirements for Controlling Bed Bugs (Cimex lectularius) under Commercial Heat Treatment Conditions” in Insects (2011).
US Bed Bugs is now selling Thermaspot Temperature Sensors: prices are currently listed as $15.99 for a pack of ten or $129.99 for 100.
I look forward to trying these out.
Check out this video for a simple demonstration of how Thermaspot works:
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